Natural Garden Design Online Course

Natural Gardens
Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

Over ten lessons this course develops your understanding of how natural environments work and the concepts of natural garden design. Know how to produce concept and detailed innovative plans for low maintenance natural gardens (eg. woodland gardens, desert gardens, wild gardens, indigenous plant gardens, etc.) using indigenous plants or a mixture of indigenous and other plants) plus suitable landscape features

Course Aims:

  • Explain the concept of natural gardens.
  • Prepare concept plans for different natural gardens.
  • Plan the incorporation of appropriate plants into a natural garden design.
  • Plan the appropriate incorporation of non-living landscape features in a natural garden.
  • Produce detailed plans for a natural garden.


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    Detailed Course Outline

    This course is made up of a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

    There are 8 lessons in this course as follows:

    Introduction to Natural, Wild and Bush Gardens

    • What is a Natural Garden
    • Natural Gardens in Different Countries
    • Soils
    • Mulches
    • Resources

    History of Natural, Wild and Bush Gardens

    • Introduction
    • History and contributors to the Natural Garden movement
    • Theories of Natural Gardening
    • History of Gardening
    • Capability Brown
    • Jeckyll
    • Jens Jensen
    • Margery Fish
    • Edna Walling
    • Ellis Stones

    Developing Concept Plans

    • Landscape Design Principles
    • Qualities of Landscape Components
    • Creating Effects
    • Collecting Pre Planning Details
    • Drawing Plans
    • Design Procedure

    Plants for Natural Gardens

    • Planting
    • Plant Establishment
    • Building Raised Beds
    • Mulching
    • Nutrition
    • Plant Propagation, species variation, provenance seed source
    • Plants for Temperate Wild Gardens
    • Plant Maintenance

    Planting Design in Natural Gardens

    • Copying Nature
    • Understanding Successions
    • Planting Design
    • Three Tier Planting
    • Aesthetic Criteria for Planting Design
    • Procedures for Planting Design
    • Plant Application; trees, shrubs, groundcovers, vines and creepers
    • Natural Weed Control
    • Invasive Plants
    • Managing Plant Health
    • Types of Natural Gardens
    • Rainforest Gardens
    • Meadow Gardens
    • Woodland Gardens
    • Desert Gardens
    • Xeriscapes

    Garden Features

    • Pathways
    • Ornamentation
    • Walls
    • Rockeries
    • Artificial Rocks
    • Terraces and Patios
    • Drainage and Erosion

    Natural Gardens Today

    • Introduction
    • Wildlife
    • Landscaping a Wildlife Garden
    • Birds, Reptiles, Mammals
    • Ponds
    • Attracting and Feeding Birds
    • Considering Shaded Areas
    • Ferns

    Bringing It All Together

    • Massed Plantings
    • Drifts
    • Spotting feature plantings
    • Geometric Plantings

    When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

    Course Tutor(s)

    Barbara Tremain BSc. (Hons) Horticulture, RHS Adv. Cert,. RHS General, City & Guilds Garden Design, Permaculture Level 3 (UK)

    Barbara brings to Careerline a wide range of horticultural experience and knowledge Barbara has a keen interest in herbalism, edible wild plants and has lead into studies of many plant based complementary medicinal systems, qualification as a Bach Flower remedy practitioner and studying Ethnobotany. Barbara has practiced and studied horticulture as well as combining it with her love of travel in many countries including the UK, US and Australia and has also studied Permaculture and runs her own horticulture business. Within the past two years she have also worked for Groundwork SW with 18-24 year old unemployed people, this work and the mentoring scheme has allowed me to teach informally. It has been a delight to nurture the interests of keen learners in horticulture and garden design. Meanwhile the business has covered a variety of Garden Design projects, from wildflower gardens to seaside situations, and has included some work with Chelsea Gold multi-winner John Moreland.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I pay in installments?

    Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

    Can I study from anywhere in the world?

    We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

    Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

    Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


    Do I have to sit an Exam?

    No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

    Do you have set start dates?

    There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.